"Can I put dirt in this Cinderella cup?"
I wasn't sure the girls would want their princess cups used for one of Jake's mud-making adventures, so I helped him find an old juice container instead.
Minutes later I heard the door again, and Jake came into the girls' room. (The girls really appreciated these interruptions. I did not.)
"Mom, do you know where some ribbon is?"
Not long after I heard the door again, and both girls sat up in bed. Jake appeared in the doorway, and I cut him off before he spoke.
"Can you please leave me alone for a few minutes? I'll be out in a little while." He left, and I felt a little bad. I should have just listened to him and answered whatever question he had. It wouldn't have taken too long, I thought.
So when he reappeared in the doorway a minute later I bit my tongue. And he showed me this bouquet he had made for me.
Sometimes I feel grumpy that no one thanks me for cleaning the bathrooms, doing the laundry, mopping the floor, doing the dishes, or making an endless parade of good, healthy meals. Sometimes I get tired of hearing, "Why are we having that for dinner?" or "I need heeeeelp!"
But when Jake makes me such a sweet bouquet he is really saying-
- Thank you for not coming unglued when I hammer on the kitchen table.
- Thank you for not losing it when my friends and I track mud all over your freshly-cleaned floor.
- Thank you for not complaining when our basement looks like a Lego-covered minefield.
- Thank you for letting me spill dried barley all over the kitchen floor when I play "excavator".
- Thank you for letting me tear the living room apart day after day when I make blanket forts.
When Abby comes in with a huge smile and a handful of dandelions that she announces she is going to put in my "love-note box", she is really saying-
- Thank you for taking me to story time and helping me find fun books to read.
- Thank you for walking with me to the park and pushing me on the swings.
- Thank you for not complaining when I accidentally smear mud on the doors, walls, and counters.
- Thank you for praying with me when I am scared at night.
- Thank you for letting me splash water all over the bathroom every time I take a tub.
When I come home and Grace grins and shrieks, "Mommy!", she is really saying-
- Thank you for taking care of me at night.
- Thank you for picking me up when I cry.
- Thank you for helping me pet the neighbor's dog.
- Thank you for helping me with my dolls.
- Thank you for playing with me.
Sometimes I wish my kids would thank me more. Really, my kids say "thank you" and "I love you" all the time. I just have to notice how they say it.